If you’re new to the sport of archery, then you’ve probably already read some articles in which you couldn’t figure out what they are talking about and asked, “What are all of the parts of a bow and arrow?” There is quite a lot of jargon in this hobby, so if you’re tired of guessing, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s begin with the primary part: the bow. It’s the piece of equipment that can be the more confusing if you don’t know its features, so you’ll want to make sure you learn these.
The riser is the main section of the bow. It’s right in the middle and holds most of the other parts of the bow together. The limbs, grip, sight, and arrow rest are all attached directly to the riser. We’re sure you know that the grip is where you hold the bow, and the sight is what you look through while aiming, whereas the other two things might be new to you. No worries—we will cover them below.
The limbs fill out the rest of the bow’s frame. They are more flexible than the riser since they get bent back when pulling the bowstring, which is why they’re separate pieces. They also have the string nock on their ends, which holds the string in place.
If you have a compound bow, the string nocks are on the cams instead. These pully-based attachments take a lot of the pressure off of the limbs, allowing for stronger pulls on the string.
We’ve talked a lot about this one so far, so it should be evident that this is the string that holds the arrow and shoots it forward when released. It also usually has nocking points on it, so you know where to put your arrow.
While the bowstring pulls the arrow back, the arrow rest is the part that holds it in place to keep it steady. Not all bows will have this, but it’s an essential part of improving accuracy.
Now we move on to the projectile of the bow, which is the arrow. It doesn’t have as many parts, but there’s enough that we should still cover it.
Let’s start with the point, which is the front part of the arrow. It is usually, but not always, sharp. That’s because broadheads exist, which are great for hunting small game. However, if you only plan on going to the range, field points tips are the ones you want.
This one is fairly straightforward. The shaft is the long part of the arrow that holds it all together. It consists of wood, aluminum, or carbon fiber.
The backend of the arrow, or the nock, is the groove that holds onto the bowstring. You can choose from four types. While they all do the same thing, they work in various ways.
And for the final section of our guide on what all of the parts of a bow and arrow are, we have the fletchings. While they have the most confusing name, they are the easiest to identify; they’re the feathers on the back of the arrow. Their primary purpose is to help the arrow fly straight.